Real Betis v Osasuna preview
Pepe Mel wants Real Betis to work hard even if they all but seal survival against Osasuna.
Last Updated: 14/04/12 4:18pm
Real Betis manager Pepe Mel wants his team to work hard until the final ball of their season is kicked even if they all but seal survival with victory over Osasuna on Sunday.
Mel's side took an 11-point lead over the bottom three into the weekend, and with only six games remaining he is convinced that one more win will ensure another year of Primera Division football.
He told the club's website: "If we win on Sunday against Osasuna then that will surely secure our survival as we will be 11 points ahead of Zaragoza and we have the better head-to-head.
"However, Madrid had the league won and now things don't seem so clear. Whatever happens on Sunday we will continue to work, we want to compete and we have matches against important teams coming up."
Mel received a huge boost as Ruben Castro was cleared to play after his yellow card in the 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad in midweek was rescinded.
Osasuna, meanwhile, have their sights firmly set on a European place after they got back to winning ways in with a 2-0 win over Espanyol.
The Navarran side remain in sixth, just four points off a Champions League place, and defender Damia Abella has said they are desperate to seal a place in either European competition for next season.
Abella told Osasuna's website: "We have achieved our first objective which was to stay up and now, without any necessity or pressure, but with great excitement and will, we want to fight to be in Europe. To remain in fifth or sixth would be wonderful."
The 29-year-old also believes that having a new objective will mean there will be no repeat of their recent 5-1 and 6-0 defeats to Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano respectively.
"Personally I believe we went to Vallecas with survival already assured and the margin of the Real Madrid defeat in our minds," he said. "To compete you need a real stimulus and we have that now with the goal of qualifying for Europe."
Marc Bertran is set to miss out for the visitors as he has suffered a recurrence of the muscle injury that has kept him out in recent weeks, but Javad Nekounam is fit again and should regain his place in midfield.
Best Bet: 1-1 Draw - 11/2